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Peter J. Kautsky

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Back Roads Odyssey
by Peter J. Kautsky
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Rated "G" by the Author.
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“I should drive east.”
The impulse struck as a
hunger pang,
“Toward New York.”
The desire was overwhelming
to go in the opposite direction
of Ohio.
There were other days
in Ohio.
The desire was for a Mecca.
Drang nach Osten
through the haunted fields of
Pennsylvania to the
worldliness of New York state.
The road was clearly
running south when the sign
said east.
It's the way of roads --
going south to go east.
So much in life is about
going Southeast.
Desperate to go north
and then east,
I see the sign that says
If there is a south, there
must be an east.
I drive south in search
of the east.
I discover a lake I never
heard of and a junction
appears with a sign
that says “north.”
North is good,
toward Lake Erie,
the vineyards of New York.
Passing dilapidated barns
and stuporiphic dairy cattle
I think of grapes when I
happen upon the Allegheny River,
its vastness inching toward
Lots of canoes for rent.
I stop to ask for directions.
“Is New York up this road?”
“It gets you there in an
hour or so.”
I watch the river
and forget about the grapes.
I should start west really.
So I run north
to go west.
Junction “6 West”
to Meadville appears.
But I don't want Meadville.
I want Lake Erie
so I run west to go
north and I get there
and walk the sandy shore,
a worldly destination
our Riviera
on the 4th of July
free of fireworks
celebrating the freedom
to burn some gas.

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/24/2015
An interesting story poem of meandering the good old-fashioned way… Dead reckoning and confusing road signs. Makes me wonder if, 50 years now, if the GPS system fails for some reason generations that follow will really be lost when they try to go someplace, New York. Especially if they can't drive their cars because they are self driving.

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